Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Converting Lfdm tenor to fifths tuning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    16

    Default Converting Lfdm tenor to fifths tuning

    Wondering if any one has done this and if you have been successful what strings do you suggest?
    Thanks, Barry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    285

    Default

    Barry, there have been a couple of pretty long discussion threads on this one. I believe one was last year, but I don't recall if it was for tenors or not. I was involved in one of those threads, but it might have been for baritone. If you go into the Search box and type in "fifths tuning" you should come up with them.

    The Aquila 31U string set will give you fifths tuning (CGDA). I think they also have a GDAE fifths-tuning set.

    I tried fifths tuning on baritone, but didn't care for the sound of it.
    Kala KA-TE tenor uke (currently tuned re-entrant gCEA)
    Kala APB-CTG baritone uke (currently tuned DGBE)
    Ohana BK-35CG baritone uke (currently tuned low-octave ADF#B)
    Various guitars, banjos, and basses

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    3,843

    Default

    I just want to take the opportunity to ask, I hear about tuning to fifths quite often. I was at a festival recently and the woman next to me wanted me to know that she was tuned in fifths. I didn't get a chance to talk to her about it. So what is the reason to tune to fifths? Would that require one to use a different fingering for chords? What do you gain by it? What do you have to give up for it? Okay, thanks. I just wondered.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    549

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    I just want to take the opportunity to ask, I hear about tuning to fifths quite often. I was at a festival recently and the woman next to me wanted me to know that she was tuned in fifths. I didn't get a chance to talk to her about it. So what is the reason to tune to fifths? Would that require one to use a different fingering for chords? What do you gain by it? What do you have to give up for it? Okay, thanks. I just wondered.
    Thanks for asking this question Rllink, I'd also like to know the pros & cons of this tuning
    Happy just to be a Newbie +, Penny

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    520

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    I just want to take the opportunity to ask, I hear about tuning to fifths quite often. I was at a festival recently and the woman next to me wanted me to know that she was tuned in fifths. I didn't get a chance to talk to her about it. So what is the reason to tune to fifths? Would that require one to use a different fingering for chords? What do you gain by it? What do you have to give up for it? Okay, thanks. I just wondered.
    I play a lot with fiddlers and mandolin players and they are tuned to fifths. So when I bought another concert and I read about the Aquila set I thought it could be a good way to learn about the finger positions that the fiddle and mando people use. It's also a tuning that is used for tenor guitars and tenor banjos and quite a few tabs and songbooks out there. It works quite nicely for chord melody picking and has a lot more bass than regular uke with CGDA. But on my concert that has a tiny little Martin shape the strings are just too floppy for my liking and I have not been motivated this summer to really dig into it. It may be better on a tenor or baritone size, or with an actual tenor banjo.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    285

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    I just want to take the opportunity to ask, I hear about tuning to fifths quite often. I was at a festival recently and the woman next to me wanted me to know that she was tuned in fifths. I didn't get a chance to talk to her about it. So what is the reason to tune to fifths? Would that require one to use a different fingering for chords? What do you gain by it? What do you have to give up for it? Okay, thanks. I just wondered.
    Yes, the fingering patterns would be different for chords, because the strings are tuned differently. In fifths tuning, the strings are tuned farther apart from each other ("more notes apart" from each other, not physically farther apart from each other). So the entire set of four strings covers a wider range of notes from low to high. That makes it easier to play some chords, or some types of music. When you play chords it has a different sound than the typical uke/guitar tuning. I play both types of tunings on different instruments. Neither is inherently better than the other, they're just different. My tenor guitar and tenor banjo are tuned in fifths. I tried fifths tuning on my uke and didn't like the sound of it. But of course it's a very personal thing.

    Depending on your degree of knowledge about intervals, scales, etc., one could go into much more detail. If you go into a music shop that stocks tenor guitars or tenor banjos and play one, you'll get a sense of what it sounds like. In the classical world, violins, violas and cellos are tuned in fifths.
    Kala KA-TE tenor uke (currently tuned re-entrant gCEA)
    Kala APB-CTG baritone uke (currently tuned DGBE)
    Ohana BK-35CG baritone uke (currently tuned low-octave ADF#B)
    Various guitars, banjos, and basses

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    549

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    Violins and mandolins etc. are tuned in fifths. GDAE
    A way to see how this is different to GCEA is to find a picture of a piano keyboard that is labelled.
    Find these notes on the piano keyboard picture and mark them. G3 C4 D4 E4 A4 E5.
    Then draw a line between G3 and E5, and another line between G3 and A4. You will notice that the GDAE has more notes to play and covers more of the high octaves. I think this is the major difference. The GDAE tuning can access a lot more music without messing around with arrangements. Also it can access all of the 100s of years of violin and mandolin music repertoire that exists.
    Sure the chord shapes might be different so you have to do some finger calisthenics to get used to the tuning, but that is just a physical thing you have to do and just takes a bit of time and effort.
    I don't see much use in tuning a ukulele in fifths unless you are planning to move on to mandolin instead of guitar as you progress in music. A ukulele is much cheaper to start with than a mandolin and it has nylon strings which are softer on fingers to get a start, so it can be a useful gateway to a mandolin. But in the end a ukulele makes a poor imitation of a mandolin and vice versa. Going from a mandolin to a ukulele is always going to involve accepting a lesser sound and complications, unless your uke has been designed for fifths, in which case it is effectively a nylon string mandolin.
    Its not hard to tune a ukulele in fifths. Aquila sells string sets which are designed to be used for fifths tuning. You just order a set and fit them and the planet will keep turning on its axis. Even an expensive uke like an LDFM should be able to survive the ordeal, it does not cost much to try out the string set. The best thing to do is to try it and see how it sounds.
    My experience is that if I want to play in fifths a long time into the future, I should just buy a mandolin or trade an expensive uke for an equivalent value mid-range mandolin. My ukes did not sound good with the fifths tuning, they were good enough for practice and as a gateway to mandolin, but not good enough to replace a real mandolin.
    Thanks for the input Bill, it's always appreciated
    Happy just to be a Newbie +, Penny

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Honolulu
    Posts
    477

    Default

    Makes sense if you want to play Bach's solo cello and violin suites and partitas with the native voicings and fingerings. There's a nice courante from a Bach cello suite played on an ukulele in violin tuning:


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    549

    Default

    Here's another wonderful performance by Richard Durrant playing the tenor guitar

    Happy just to be a Newbie +, Penny

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Thanks for all your input. This seems to have inspired lots of discussion and comments.
    I am exploring fifth tuning because I have been a mandolin player for a very long time and find it frustrating learning the new fingerings. I play many instruments in Fifth tunings like Mandola, Octave mandolin, tenor banjo and tenor guitar +++.
    I find it so easy to switch between these instruments. I like to play jazz standards utilizing typical jazz progressions along with extensions. When I pick up my beautiful sounding tenor LFDM I become impatient and frustrated that I cannot swing this instrument. I then give up and store the Uke once again! I was trained classically on the mandolin as a child and play classical tunes such as Bach Prelude with no problems I do understand changing to fifths would sort of “insult” this beautiful luthier built LFDM tenor ukulele. At least I would use it as more playable voice to be added Tom my toolbox of instruments .
    Thanks for all your considerate posts,
    Barry

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •